From time to time, I’ll write in English on this blog. It’s devoted to the world of museums and is about exhibitions, websites, topical questions… I’m going to translate some of my texts. The first one (Exposition : « Le Louvre pendant la guerre » – 28 May) :
Exhibition : « The Louvre during the War »
Today I have visited the exhibition « Le Louvre pendant la guerre. Regards photographiques 1938-1947 » which is held until August 31st (Sully wing). The collected photographs allow to assess the impact of the war on the works as well as on the staff.
The presentation isn’t very long, which contrasts with the great exhibition presented at the moment in the Louvre, « Les Portes du ciel ». The restrained scenography highlights well the photographs. These are completed by texts which give rhythm to the different sections of the exhibition and by a chronology placed above the works. I found that the exhibition as a whole was rather didactic. A few documents complement the photographs, such as a film shot during the removal of the works.
At the beginning of the war, many works were put away in a safe place, in the provinces, and were only reinstalled in 1945. Among the most famous, The Winged Victory of Samothrace and The Venus of Milo. It’s only in 1947 that the museum got fully its pre-war working back. The photographs thus show us, besides these removals, a full and empty place at the same time : antique statues brought together and frames hung without their paintings…
The « salle du séquestre » (sequestration room), where only the Germans could enter, gathered works stolen from Jews. Besides the staff of the museum had to fill in a questionnaire in order to say if they had Jewish grandparents.
These photographs are not only informative, but also very interesting from an aesthetic point of view, especially Pierre Jahan’s photographs.Photographe : © Christophe MOUSTIER vidit – 2007 ; http://christophe.moustier.free.fr/ ; titre : The Winged Victory of Samothrace.